From Unemployed to CEO – Here’s how Leon did it

Leon Brown came to Campbell Page just like many other job seekers before him: unemployed, but hungry for something more. He was determined to find his passion and build a career from it.

For Leon there was no inbetween. It was either you are passionate and love what you do or you are in the wrong job. – James sayed, Campbell Page Candidate Coach

With this inspiring attitude came challenges. Leon was unemployed and although earning an income was important to ensure that his quality of life was on track, he couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that he needed to find his passion and make a career out of it -instead of settling for just any job. The problem was, Leon was such a visionary that he struggled to commit to the one idea or concept.

Eventually, Leon began looking inwards and thought about what could have made a difference for him when he was a kid. That’s when the idea for Guramaa Global Indigenous Corporation surfaced.

For around 6 years I had toyed with the idea of doing something for the Indigenous kids in the community. – Leon Brown

Leon’s idea was to build a not-for-profit that encouraged young Indigenous kids in the area to stay connected to their culture, while also becoming vital members of their communities.

When Leon spoke to James about his idea and his desire to build something that could benefit the community Jame was onboard. Together they began planning how to take this idea from concept to creation.

Campbell Page offered to help Leon as much as possible, which led to Leon utilising the office space on a daily basis to build his not-for-profit from the ground up, and network with potential partners.

In the first week of August 2017, Leon launched his partnership with two local schools, Vincentia High School and Jervis Bay Public School, in time for the annual NAIDOC Week celebrations.  Together with the two schools, Guramaa Global Indigenous Corporation aims to promote better educational and career outcomes for Indigenous students.

One of the most important aspects of the program is embedding the traditional Dhurga language into the Jervis Bay Public School’s curriculum – it is language that brings us togther. – Leon

While this program is not implemented at Jervis Bay Public School yet, a program is already well underway at Vincentia High School. Leon believes that encouraging not just Indigenous kids but all kids to engage with and learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture is vital to building inclusive an unifying community where every child has the same opportunities. even the name of his organisation communicates this – ‘Guarmaa’ is from the Dhurga language that translates to ‘fighting spirit’.

I chose it because it reflects the struggle required for Aboriginal children to overcome the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential.

Although Leon is still technically unemployed and a job seeker at Campbell Page, he is also is now the proud Founder and CEO of Guramaa Global Indigenous Corporation (GGIC). He has worked hard to ensure that the GGIC will continue to run programs in the community. This meant ensuring that its establishment met the requirements of legislation, and could be endorsed as a charitable organisation by Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations Canberra.

It is always a good way to start the day when you see Leon working away at something so important in our office. We are incredibly proud of him and really grateful taht we were able to be a small part of his story. – James

Congratulations Leon! We cannot wait to see what comes next for you!


Campbell Page is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to transforming people’s lives. If you would like to find out more about us please continue to browse our website or alternatively, contact us directly.

GGIC is registered with the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission) and is going through the final steps to get DGR (Direct Gift Recipient) and PBI (Public Benevolent Institute Status) through the office of the registrar and the Australian Taxation Office. For more information please click here.

Words by: Tiarne Pattison

tiarne.pattison@campbellpage.org.au 

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